Thursday, October 2, 2008

I have moved...

I'm very sorry that I have been gone for much longer than I had intended!

I went to Buenos Aires and was so busy in the time leading up to the trip that I thought I would be able to make a post from the city, but unfortunately I could not. However, there were so many wonderful antique markets and street fairs there with tons of old papers and magazines and photos, that I realized how much I love all different types of ephemera! Recipes and food ads are a large part of that, of course, but there is still so much more out there that wouldn't have fit on this site but that I would love to be able to share.

So upon my return, I created a brand new vintage website, called (UPDATE 4/2014): The Vintage Site. On that site I will be going all through my collections of vintage recipes, fashion, post cards, photos, yearbooks, and various other miscellany, and posting it on a more frequent basis.

I hope you stop by if you get the chance, and that you enjoyed your time at Vintage Dish!

Click here to go to The Vintage Site

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Banana Muffins - 1938

I just returned from a wonderful visit to my hometown in Western Pennsylvania. We had a great time with lots of shopping and delicious food; and, as promised, my mother had some gifts for me! First of all, as you can see above, is a cookbook that belonged to my great grandmother, Susan Hendrickson. I'm not sure of the date it was published, but she has handwritten notes throughout the book, one of which is her name and address and that is dated 1938. I thought the note shown here was sweet. (I'm afraid it's hard to read without zooming in, but it reads "Always love one another. - Mrs. Susan Hendrickson"). On another blank page, she wrote "When dreams fail you, Look up and dream again."

Along with that obviously much-used and well-loved cookbook was a copy of a magazine from 1940 that I'm assuming also came from my great-grandmother. This is the cover, and you can see that somebody in her family added their own embellishments and pricing to the cover!

I was not lucky enough to know great-grandmother Susan, and unfortunately I have no photos of her in my possession, but I do have a general area of where she lived. It was in the next town over, in an area of town called "Seldom Seen." I remember visiting the area years ago out of curiosity, and her house was on a typical small town street with kids riding bikes and dogs barking. I didn't have time to go there on this trip, but I do have a picture so you can see the general area. In the photo below, I am standing on the riverbank, taking a photo of the town across the river. If you would keep going a bit further to the right of these houses, and higher up the hill, her neat blue house would be there.

Here are a few other photos from my trip home, which included a trip to the city of Pittsburgh (about 45 minutes away).

To the left is my parent's front porch.

To the right are some colorful buildings in the "strip district" in the city of Pittsburgh. The strip district is where the farmers markets and fresh foods are sold in the mornings, and many residents wake up early to purchase the best things before they are sold out.

The photo on the left was taken from the car as we drove over the Liberty Bridge into Pittsburgh, and it shows how beautiful the weather was for my entire trip!

This city view is another shot taken in the Strip District.

Well, hopefully that gives you a better idea of the area where both I, and Susan Hendrickson, used to live! In closing, I will go back to her cookbook and post a recipe from it. This one is for Banana Muffins, and I'd imagine that they'd be extra good with some miniature dark chocolate chips thrown in to the batter, and possibly even some cream cheese frosting on top!

Banana Muffins - 1938

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup banana pulp
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Cream shortening. Cream in sugar. Beat in banana pulp.
2. Beat whole eggs light. Add to first mixture.
3. Sift dry ingredients together. Stir into batter.
4. Pour into greased muffin pans. Bake (350 degrees F, for 20 to 25 minutes). Makes 1 1/2 dozen.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Mayo - 1957

It wasn't too long ago that I featured a post on Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip ads and the recipes therein. Well, as I was thumbing through my newest acquisition, a June 1957 issue of Woman's Day, wouldn't you know it - the first 2 ads to immediately catch my eye were for Hellmann's Mayonnaise and Kraft Miracle Whip! For some reason these ads seem to be very colorful and visually appealing - I guess they are doing their job, after all. Maybe I should just start a "Vintage Mayo" blog! Okay, maybe that's not such a good idea...

Anyway, here once again are 2 competing ads for Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip.

The Miracle Whip ad doesn't really display any recipes, other than literally using it as a salad dressing. But that's okay, since I like mayonnaise better anyway. And in the mayonnaise ad, we are offered recipes for three common yet uniquely prepared dishes. The 1957 housewife could choose from Sauced Summer Squash, Shrimp Tomato Salad, and Stuffed Peppers. The last of those three is the one I will be discussing later.

But where exactly would a cook of the time be preparing our meal? Well, perhaps in a house like this one:

Pretty colorful, isn't it? This issue is full of photos for inexpensive houses, and the picture above is typical of what you'll see. (Notice that the walls can be painted in any color!) The kitchen of this house is a cool turquoise, as seen in the other photo. Unfortunately not scanned is the pink and red living/dining room and the red and black bedroom.

Finally, the summer hostess needs something to wear. This June issue was a "picnic" issue, so the fashion spread features "easy to make, exciting to wear fun clothes for lazy summer days or cool evenings when you're a guest at a cook-out on the patio or hostess at a barbecue in your own backyard." The dress here is the one I was partial to - I think it's really cute, and I only wish it was in color so I could see the grape, green and black stripes together. For just 50 cents you could send for the pattern, which would require 2 3/4 yards of fabric for a size 14. Speaking of sizes, they have really changed if the sizing chart here is any indication. Tiny measurements (31" bust, 24" waist, 33" hip) are a size 10. For comparison, I checked the sizing charts at Victoria's Secret, and that was a size 2!

Anyway, back to the food. I'm posting the recipe for the Hellmann's Mayonnaise stuffed peppers, only because it is a recipe I am so familiar with and have made so often, though never in this way. In fact, the recipe honestly does not sound good at all. It is so truly different from anything I've ever seen, though, that I couldn't possibly let it go without a mention. And perhaps it tastes much better than it looks in print! I don't think this is one of the recipes I'll ever try to find that out about. Nevertheless, if you want to try, here is the recipe.

Stuffed Peppers - 1957

Mix 1/3 cup Real Mayonnaise, 1 1/2 cups drained kernel corn, 1 3-oz can mushrooms, drained, 6 slices of bread, cubed, chopped onion, salt, pepper. Fill 6 parboiled pepper halves. Top with 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs mixed with 1 tablespoon Real Mayonnaise. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves 6.

I probably won't be posting for a few days. We are going to visit my hometown, in western Pennsylvania, where my family still lives. My mother has already promised me a vintage cookbook and a magazine from the 1940's that she found, so hopefully when I do get back I'll have lots of new things to post! See you then...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Advertising Recipe Cards - 1968

These four cards were attached inside the June, 1968 issue of Family Circle magazine. They were advertisements for Mazola oil, Skippy peanut butter, and Karo corn syrup, and each card features a simple recipe using one or more of those ingredients.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hashed Sweet Potatoes - 1923

The February, 1923 issue of the Woman's Home Companion magazine is one of my favorites. It is full of beautiful, full-color advertisements, and graceful women with lovely hair and dresses. Even the cover has a gorgeous picture on it, as you can see here. There are so many pictures I would love to frame or at least find another project to use them with. And yet, in 1923, this was just another typical woman's magazine!

One thing I noticed a great deal of in this magazine is a deep respect for housework. Women are shown in a variety of poses in the midst of all sorts of domestic tasks. And advertisers have definitely capitalized on this idea; ads are full of reminders that women's work around the house requires as much strength and is as legitimate a job as any man's. Notice in the ad below, (which happens to feature another illustration that I love), that this idea is what the marketers of Sun-Maid Raisins is referring to.

Of course, at the same time, it is impossible not to notice the somewhat patronizing language. House work requires energy, the ad says, but that comes at the expense of the "youthfulness and color from scores of pretty cheeks." And the end of all of these energy-requiring chores was the approval of the husband and the family. See the ad to the right for Knox gelatin. It is difficult to read without magnifying it, but one paragraph reads:

"'Will it please the man of the house?' is always the question in a woman's mind when she makes a salad. All doubts are removed, however, when she makes Perfection Salad for the household.'"

It seems that, like so many other aspects of life both today and in the past, women's work in the early 1920's is a complex subject and every one of us would probably have differing opinions on much of it. Still, it doesn't take away my enjoyment of the beauty of these ads and articles and recipes when they are admired at face value; and still, when I walk in the door after one more stressful day at the office, the world that the magazines portray of the everyday life of decades ago still seems a more relaxing and peaceful one. In my heart I know that is not the case, but it is nice to sometimes escape there anyway!

(By the way, the ad to the left is for yeast, and is also the ad that the quote in this blog's heading comes from.)

In closing, I'd like to comment on the recipes featured in this article. I was actually quite fond of these recipes after I read through them; they sound like they would be delicious and hearty, and not very difficult to make. The article they are taken from is full of recipes that are either quick to make or can be prepared ahead of time, so that the woman can actually have some time of her own to go out with friends or to play a game of cards. "Even cooks have a day off a week," the article points out. Below I have typed one of the recipes that appear at the top of this post. I hope you get to try it!

Hashed Sweet Potatoes - 1923

Cut in dice four large cold boiled (sweet) potatoes. In frying pan put six tablespoons butter or pork fat. When hot add potato, sprinkle with one and one-half teaspoons salt, a few grains pepper, and two tablespoons brown sugar. Mix well and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally, letting cubes brown slightly. Turn into hot vegetable dish.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wrexham Gingerbread - 1870

One of the oldest magazines I've found so far is my May 1870 issue of Peterson's magazine. The cover is discolored like the sepia tint of an old photograph, and the edges of the pages are curled and ripped. But as soon as I hold the paper in my hands and open up the front cover, I find my imagination easily leading me into the world of 130 years ago. The magazine is filled with fashion, household hints, recipes, and other matters of everyday life, and it is written to an audience that is completely part of that world. So becoming a part of that audience myself is an amazing thing.

Before I get to the recipe, I wanted to share with you some of the things I found the most interesting in the magazine. Above, you will see a colorful illustration of Parisian fashion for the spring and summer of 1870. In a later section of this May issue, the reader is told:

"As we said, in our last number, long dresses are never seen on the street; but many of the street costumes are made with what is called a court-train, (not very long, however,) which is made to loop up in an artistic way for out-of-doors, and can be dropped in the house, thus making the one dress answer admirably for two occasions."

And short dresses were not at all what we think of today. In the figure above, dresses 1, 2, and 5 were described as being short dresses.

And here is an illustration of the latest hairstyles and bonnets for May! Again, the magazine describes the hairstyles of the season in more detail, explaining that
"The falling coiffures, which have succeeded the raised ones of last winter, greatly change the aspect of many faces: regular and well characterized beauties have gained by the change, but the saucy-looking, irregular types have lost. These last acquired an air of gracefulness and youth by having the h
air turned up to the top of the head instead of covering the neck. We would, therefore, advise ladies of this latter class to moderate the depth of their chignons. Fashion is not immutable."

Finally, here is a page of the typical advertisements of the time. I really couldn't find any food ads to show, but to the left is a pretty good assortment of odds and ends from the end of the magazine.

And now, since this is a vintage food blog after all, here come the recipes! I was very surprised to see that they don't seem that difficult after all. Well, with an exception - the recipe for Brighton pudding says to beat the sugar and eggs for twenty minutes! I think I'll pass.

The recipe that stands out as appearing rather doable, to me, is the Wrexham Gingerbread. Because there are no exact measurements, but you are using equal amounts of all the ingredients, it seems you can easily tailor the recipe to your needs. I have typed up the recipe below:

Wrexham Gingerbread - 1870

Equal quantities of flour, butter, molasses, and loaf-sugar; the butter, sugar, and molasses to be made hot; then mix in, by degrees, the flour, the rind of a lemon, and ginger to your taste; drop it on buttered tins, leaving a space between, and bake it in a rather quick oven. Take it off with a knife, and to make a variety, roll some over a stick when warm, to look like wafers.

If you'd rather see the recipes for yourself, just click below. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Quick Food Magic - 1978

Quick Recipes - 1978, originally uploaded by Vintage Dish.

I really liked this page from the May 1978 issue of Family Circle magazine. Besides being cute and full of color, the page actually has some practical, easy-sounding recipes. There are a few I wouldn't mind trying. In fact, I think I'll do the "souped-up chicken" this week! You can click the photo to see a larger version, but I'll also include the recipe below. (However, the magazine page has quite a few other recipes on it that you might find interesting.)

Maybe I'll have more success with this one...

Souped-up Chicken - 1978

Brown a 2 1/2 pound cut-up chicken in 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet; then remove chicken to a 2-quart casserole. In fat remaining in skillet, saute 1 large onion, chopped. Spoon over chicken along with 1 can condensed vegetable beef soup, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon crumbled leaf thyme. Cover and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F) for 30 minutes or until tender. Makes 6 servings.